Book Reviews of Daughter Of Fortune

Daughter Of Fortune
Author: Isabel Allende
ISBN: 4595
Edition: Unabridged
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Book Type: Audio Cassette
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72 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Daughter Of Fortune on + 151 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This is one of those rare books that I can appreciate both on a literary level at the same time as I wallow in the romance and suspense. [Warning: cliche coming] I couldn't put it down! Seriously, you have to read this one - and ignore all her others, Allende appears to be a one book author.
reviewed Daughter Of Fortune on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Amazing book! I have read and reread it. Of particular interest to me were the descriptions of Gold Rush era towns from Sacramento to the Foothills. From a historical viewpoint of those towns the descriptions are amazingly accurate. I would and have recommended this book to others.
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Helpful Score: 5
Engrossing story begins in Chile and ends in California, touches on every-day life in Chile, shipping, prostitutes, the Gold Rush and Chinese herbal medicine. And, it's well written.
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Helpful Score: 5
A terrific, well researched, tale of life during the Gold Rush of 1849. You can read it as the search of a woman for her lost love, or you can read it for details of life at that time and in that place. After I finished it, I followed with a history of the Gold Rush.
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Helpful Score: 3
Fantastic book with well-developed characters. The book wasn't entirely predictable, which I enjoyed. It was also interesting to read about the California Gold Rush from a non-Anglo perspective. A nice, captivating, cultured book.
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Helpful Score: 3
This book is so rich w detail, characters, and excitement. The main character is a spirited heroine who really engages you and makes you feel for her and her plight...the characters are all very rich and interesting and the book really teaches you alot about the history of the period California Gold Ruch 1849, and South America, and China in the same period.
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Helpful Score: 3
This one started out really very slow for me. The first 75 pages or so really drag out the set up to this novel. The middle section is really good, the parts once they reach SFO are fascinating. Then it ends. Really abruptly. I'm left feeling that the author didn't finish the story. Where's the rest of it? Did she reach some pre-determined page count and then had to stop? A pretty good book, would be better with less at the beginning and more at the end.
reviewed Daughter Of Fortune on + 328 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A historical novel "seasoned" by four cultures,--English, Chilean, Chinese, and American. Set during the California Gold Rush, this adventure story is filled with romance, passion and great storytelling!
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Helpful Score: 3
It took me a long time to get into this book. It was very slow moving and not as captivating as I had hoped. Although it received rave reviews, I found it lacking in substance.
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Helpful Score: 2
To be honest, I'm still not sure if I liked this book or not.

While the main character is listed as Eliza, it seems that nearly every character you come across has their own (lengthy) backstory that almost rivals hers. They're all inter-connected in some way but not to a degree that we really need to know all of that information.

Don't get me wrong, Allende has a fantastic way of writing that brings the details to life. It was a quick and easy read with beautiful imagery and interesting stories. It held my attention enough that I wanted to finish it but I thought it really started to shine towards the end of the novel. The end is so abrupt that I went online to make sure my copy hadn't had pages torn out.

Good read for historical fiction fans.
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Helpful Score: 2
I have read this several times.. the only reason i am giving one up is because i received one as a gift. All of Allende's books are great.
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Helpful Score: 2
A basket ends up on the doorsteps of a well-to-do family in Chili containing a beautiful baby girl of raven hair. The story follows this beauty into her adulthood in a manner not accustomed to the whims of these English aristocrats. Her friendship and identity with the family's servants, love for her adopted mother, her unexpected friendship with a Chinese doctor, and her new love as she becomes of age will lead you on a trip through the realities of the forty-niners quest for the California gold. It incorporates characters described in detail one would find in San Francisco and the gold fields you will treasure and not soon forget. One of those books you will be recommending to your friends and those you chance to meet.
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Helpful Score: 1
historical novel of life during the mid 1800's. an orphan raised by a victorian spinster, follows her heart on a momentous journey to the wild frontiers of California during the gold rush. Oprah's book club.
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Helpful Score: 1
Don't usually go for Allende novels, but this one was very interesting. Great historic setting with a great story. Enjoyed very much.
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Helpful Score: 1
One of the better books I've read this year. Historical fiction with strong,determined female protagonist. Takes you from society in Chile in the mid 19th century to the California Gold Rush. Alot of racial overtones.
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Helpful Score: 1
I have read several books by this author and enjoy her works very, very much.
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Helpful Score: 1
I loved this story. From Chile to the Gold Rush of California, the characters are rich and take you along with them on an adventure. "Portrait in Sepia" also by Allende, follows the characters and their families further in generations. Fantastic read!
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Helpful Score: 1
Great historial novel of a time and place I knew little about. Chile in the mid-1800's and California during that same period. A strong woman who used her head as well as her heart. Well written. Recommended. M3
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Helpful Score: 1
I really loved this book and would recommend it to anyone. Most of the story takes place in California during the Gold Rush. This gal writes a really good story!
Genny
reviewed Daughter Of Fortune on
Helpful Score: 1
I had no trouble finishing this book but didn't find the characters particularly memorable. It was interesting reading about the early days of the California gold rush, particularly as seen through the eyes of a non-Caucasian immigrant. I never realized the gold rush had such an international effect! Book is well written: I am glad I read it.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was historic, and brillantly delved into a gutsy young woman's travels to a Gold Rush California. This felt so real. It was enthralling.
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New York Times BestSeller-Oprah's Book Club...This is a dazzling historical novel, a sweeping portrait of an unconventional woman carving her own destiny in an era defined by violence, passion, and adventure.
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I loved it - history, drama, love, all the essential elements are here.
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An orphan raised in Valparaíso, Chile, by a Victorian spinster and her rigid brother, young, vivacious Eliza Sommers follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush of 1849 -- a danger-filled quest that will become a momentous journey of transformation. In this rough-and-tumble world of panhandlers and prostitutes, immigrants and aristocrats, Eliza will discover a new life of freedom, independence, and a love greater than any ever dreamed.
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Excellent book by a great writer!
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This is an interesting period piece. It moves the reader through time and location while including some ethnical turmoil. We see Eliza progress and change throughout her life.
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A fascinating story about the early settlement of California.
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Great tale of adventure! Thoroughly enjoyable!
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A very interesting historical novel. The discriptions of the gold rush are entertaining and insightful.
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Until Isabel Allende burst onto the scene with her 1985 debut, The House of the Spirits, Latin American fiction was, for the most part, a boys' club comprising such heavy hitters as Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, and Mario Vargas Llosa. But the Chilean Allende shouldered her way in with her magical realist multi-generational tale of the Trueba family, followed it up with four more novels and a spate of nonfiction, and has remained in a place of honor ever since. Her sixth work of fiction, Daughter of Fortune, shares some characteristics with her earlier works: the canvas is wide, the characters are multi-generational and multi-ethnic, and the protagonist is an unconventional woman who overcomes enormous obstacles to make her way in the world. Yet one cannot accuse Allende of telling the same story twice; set in the mid-1800s, this novel follows the fortunes of Eliza Sommers, Chilean by birth but adopted by a British spinster, Rose Sommers, and her bachelor brother, Jeremy, after she is abandoned on their doorstep.
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I have read almost all of Allende's book and I love them. This one did not dissapoint. I like her style b/c along with the fiction you can always get a glimpse of the political & cultural reality of that time. Magical Realism.
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The reader Blair Brown makes this story come alive. Isabel Allende is a talented author and her books hold attention to the end. I couldn't put it down.
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I had never read Isabel Allende and I just adored this book. The story just carries u along. Her description of the California Gold Rush was very interesting. The reader was excellent and the translation was very good. I am now listening to the next book in this series and it's also very good. So many reasons to love this book!
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Fantastic book, wonderful author !
reviewed Daughter Of Fortune on
This book seems like it would like to be the Chilean "Gone with the Wind," but it doesn't make it. Still, it's an interesting story with insights into the lives of 19th century women, much determined by class and status, and the spirit of one young woman that takes her from claustrophobic comfort in Chile to the freedom and danger of the California Gold Rush.
reviewed Daughter Of Fortune on + 33 more book reviews
Absolutely a great read, couldn't put it down. The setting during the gold rush of California is fascinating
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It took me awhile to get into this book, but it was decent. It's not my favorite book ever, but if you're interested in California in this time period, it will be interesting to you.
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Historical, adventurous, strong characters.
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This may be a novel, but when reading the story, it sounds so real. The descriptions of the land as well as the characters are perfect. It is so readable and believable. Highly recommend this book. She has written a sequel to this story "Portrait in Sepia" that is just as good. Enjoy them both.
reviewed Daughter Of Fortune on + 81 more book reviews
Very well written. Interesting characters. Love it!
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Passionate, adventurous, and brilliantly insightful. A masterpiece of historical fiction.
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I thought it was a beautiful book~!
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set in the mid-1800s, this novel follows the fortunes of Eliza Sommers, Chilean by birth but adopted by a British spinster, Rose Sommers, and her bachelor brother, Jeremy, after she is abandoned on their doorstep.
"You have English blood, like us," Miss Rose assured Eliza when she was old enough to understand. "Only someone from the British colony would have thought to leave you in a basket on the doorstep of the British Import and Export Company, Limited. I am sure they knew how good-hearted my brother Jeremy is, and felt sure he would take you in. In those days I was longing to have a child, and you fell into my arms, sent by God to be brought up in the solid principles of the Protestant faith and the English language."
The family servant, Mama Fresia, has a different point of view, however: "You, English? Don't get any ideas, child. You have Indian hair, like mine." And certainly Eliza's almost mystical ability to recall all the events of her life would seem to stem more from the Indian than the Protestant side
reviewed Daughter Of Fortune on
Eliza Sommers, left alone and pregnant in Chile when her lover Joaquin runs off to California during the Gold Rush, decides to follow him only to become entranced with her new life of freedom and independence.
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Well worth the read! As different as some of the characters are you never feel like they're contrived.
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Very interesting read! I enjoyed learning about the culture and lifestyle of the main character. Strong female lead.
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This is a great epic love story starting in Chile and ending in San Francisco in the 1840's.
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Excellent novel with romance, adventure, and history.
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Enjoyable historical novel
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Loved the history of California during the gold rush. A very good read, but I didn't realize that this wasn't the first in a series until after I was finished!! But, in this case, it didn't really matter.
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A wonderful story of searching for love the back drop of 18th century Chile and California. Couldnt put down.
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A historial novel describing the settlement of California, and all the various groups involved. History, love, lots of details.
reviewed Daughter Of Fortune on
This book seems like it would like to be the Chilean "Gone with the Wind," but it doesn't make it. Still, it's an interesting story with insights into the lives of 19th century women, much determined by class and status, and the spirit of one young woman that takes her from claustrophobic comfort in Chile to the freedom and danger of the California Gold Rush.
reviewed Daughter Of Fortune on + 5 more book reviews
I really liked it until the end where it kind of fizzled out. I see there is a sequel so maybe that is why the book just whimpered at the end. Loved her style and found the characters interesting enough to read more of her work though.
reviewed Daughter Of Fortune on + 8 more book reviews
Isabel Allende never disappoints. I loved this story of love and adventure that follows her hero and heroine through different countries and cultures.
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Really enjoyed this book. It was well written.
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Long on character development, short on plot. I thought it was a rush to finish at the end. Having said that, it was an excellent read as to a story of the gold rush from a previously unexplored direction. Instead of a story of the gold rush itself we have a small cast of characters from South America and China caught up in an all too brief and intense period of real american history. Oprah was right, it's an excellent read.
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I loved this book - its deep, mystical and enchanting. I wish it didn't end. This book begins my reading love affair with Isabelle Allende!
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Excellent family saga story line. The ending pleasantly suprised me on how loose ends came together.
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She is amazing... I am now reading all of her books.
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Beautifully written, magical realism
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Historical fiction with a twist. Very good storytelling.
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This was an interesting perspective on the California Gold Rush...
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An adopted daughter of a well bred family breaks the social rules in upper class Chile and flees to California. Eliza endures a horrendous ocean crossing in search of her lover and barely recovers. With help from Tai Chi'en, a young,widowed Chinese doctor, and a kind-hearted prostitute, she survives to shape her new life during the gold rush in California.
Throughout her adventures there, Eliza remains close to Tao Chi'en, her rescuer and friend. Dressed as a young boy, and mute brother of Tao Chi'en, Eliza's adventures unfold in her new country as does love...but not as she expected it.
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A very popular book. Kind of makes me wonder why I had such a hard time reading it. Was bored to death until I finally decided to stop reading it.
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This is a Oprah Book club book. I like this book.
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An Oprah book club selection, it is set during the Gold Rush of 1849.
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FROM THE PUBLISHER
From acclaimed international bestselling author Isabel Allende comes this dazzling historical novel, a sweeping portrait of an unconventional woman carving her own destiny in an era defined by violence, passion, and adventure. An orphan raised in Valparaiso, Chile, by a Victorian spinster and her rigid brother, young, vivacious Eliza Sommers follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush of 1849 -- a danger-filled quest that will become a momentous journey of transformation. In this rough-and-tumble world of panhandlers and prostitutes, immigrants and aristocrats, Eliza will discover a new life of freedom, independence, and a love greater than any ever dreamed.
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I actually haven't read it but it is highly recommended from friends!
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I haven't read this book. The cover describes it as a "historical novel, a sweeping portrait of an unconvential woman carving her own destiny in an era defined by violence, passion, and adventure."
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Oprah book club book.
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An Oprah's Club Book